State-of-the-art, 64-slice CT technology allows for improved image quality and speed. Computed tomography (CT) uses x-rays to take pictures of sections of the body. A CT scan shows the body’s organs more clearly and in greater detail than regular x-rays. CT scans help find abnormalities in the body which may indicate disease, determine how far a disease has spread and show the effects of treatment and how your body is responding to it.
A bone mineral density (BMD) test measures the mineral density - such as calcium - in your bones using a special X-ray, CT scan or ultrasound. A DEXA bone scan provides an estimate of the strength of your bones. DEXA uses two different X-ray beams to estimate bone density in your spine and hip. The amounts of each X-ray beam that are blocked by bone and soft tissue are compared to each other. Bones with higher mineral density allow less of the X-ray beam to pass through them.
Fluoroscopy is a test that uses a steady beam of X-rays to look at parts of the body and movement within the body. Using fluoroscopy, doctors can view blood moving through a blood vessel or food moving through the stomach and intestines.
A mammogram is an X-ray image of your breast used to screen for breast cancer. Mammograms play a key role in early breast cancer detection and help decrease breast cancer deaths. Women over 40 should have a mammogram performed yearly, called a screening mammogram. A diagnostic mammogram is used to evaluate abnormalities detected on a screening mammogram or because of special circumstances. During a mammogram, your breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out the breast tissue.
A breast biopsy is usually done to check a lump found during a breast exam or a suspicious area found on a mammogram or ultrasound. The biopsy removes a sample of breast tissue that is examined by a pathologist under a microscope to check for breast cancer.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields and radio frequencies to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues and bones. Unlike X-rays, an MRI does not use radiation. The MRI scanner is a large, cylindrical (tube-shaped) machine that creates a strong magnetic field and pulses of radio waves to knock the nuclei of the atoms in the body out of their normal position. As they move back into proper position, radio signals are sent to the computer that converts the signals into images for in-depth analysis.
The MRI can be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of inpatient care at one of our state-of-the-art imaging centers. It typically takes 30 to 40 minutes and can be done with or without contrast, which is a dye-like substance injected into an intravenous (IV) line that causes the particular organ or tissue under study to be seen in more detail. Contrast examinations may require the patient to fast for a certain period of time before the procedure.
Nuclear medicine is a specialized area of radiology that uses very small amounts of radioactive materials, or radiopharmaceuticals, to examine organ function and structure. This branch of radiology is often used to help diagnose and treat a wide variety of illnesses and conditions.
Our board-certified radiologists perform ultrasounds, which use high-frequency sound waves to capture images of organs in the body, to help diagnose a range of conditions and monitor bodily functions. The parts of the body commonly evaluated with an ultrasound include the abdomen, breasts, female pelvis, prostate, scrotum, thyroid and parathyroid, and the vascular system. Ultrasounds provide images of the fetus during pregnancy as well. Ultrasound procedures are painless and take from 20 minutes to an hour.
X-ray, also called radiography, is the most common form of medical imaging. An X-ray machine sends particles through your body, and images are recorded on a computer or film. Dense structures (bone, metal, or contrast material) will appear white. Less dense structures will appear as shades of gray. Air will appear black. One of our certified technologists will position you on a table or against the wall. You may be asked to hold your breath or remain completely still while the X-ray is being taken. Even the slightest motion will cause blurred images.
Diana Hydrick started getting routine mammograms at Coryell Memorial when she was 40 years old and two years later Dr. Dwyer noticed a spot on her test results and began to follow her more closely. “When I came in for my 6 month follow up, Dr. Dwyer showed me a tiny dot on the screen. It was so small and impossible to feel. That tiny dot changed my life”, recalls Diana. “We did a biopsy with Dr. Norris and that is when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a difficult time but I was grateful we found it so early. I felt like Dr. Dwyer was really paying attention and his diligence is why I am still here”, said Diana.
Sheila Shavers has always led a busy and full life. She came from a large family and worked since she was 14, been married for 32-years and has two children and two grandchildren. She likes to sing and has a national beef jerky making business. Sheila was not expecting life-changing news in November of 2016 she went to a follow-up appointment for another issue. “In my nine years of working in housekeeping at Coryell Memorial Healthcare System (CMHS), I never thought I would be a patient. I had a mammogram six month prior, that is how fast it can come up,” recalls Sheila. “Dr. Dwyer, CMHS radiologist, called me and said he saw something and we needed to do a biopsy. When I received the news that I had stage I breast cancer, I had never been so scared in my life, but I knew my Coryell Memorial family would take care of me. I wasn’t going to stop and give up my life to cancer.”